Opera’s new ‘crypto browser’ makes wasting money on NFTs surprisingly easy
Opera just installed guard rails on the NFT on-ramp. The company behind the little-used Chromium-based browser released the beta version of its “crypto browser” Wednesday, and the all-in-one web browser, cryptocurrency wallet, and portal to fiat-to-ethereum exchange makes buying, selling, and holding non-fungible tokens surprisingly easy. In its announcement, Opera (likely correctly) implies that the current state of web3 affairs is too complicated for the average consumer, and that the crypto browser is Opera’s answer to that perceived problem. “Too few of the web browsing experiences offered today have been built with the intention of putting Web3 centerstage and making blockchain technologies understandable and easy to use,” reads the blog post written by Susie Batt, Opera’s crypto ecosystem lead. “Our belief is that the world of blockchain needs a fully dedicated browsing experience.” Enter the Crypto Browser Project, a one-stop shop for people who’ve heard the term “web3” somewhere and want to invest their hard-earned cash in the Next Big Thing, but are a little unsure as to how to do so, exactly. And credit where credit is due: Opera’s crypto browser delivers a fairly intuitive experience. It takes minutes to download the browser, set up a non-custodial wallet (meaning no third party controls it), and buy ethereum via Ramp using only a Visa or Mastercard credit card. Thus equipped, one can stroll on over to NFT marketplaces like OpenSea or Rarible and start shopping. Get those JPEGs. Credit: Screenshot: Opera What’s more, Opera seems to have taken into account common — and costly — points of failure when designing its crypto browser. For example, because the browser already contains a native wallet, users don’t need to add potentially malware-ridden extensions to their normal web browser in order to interact with dApps. The browser also comes with a “secure clipboard that allows you to safely copy and paste.” Which, perhaps, sounds like silly overkill — until one realizes that secretly altering cryptocurrency wallet addresses (which are long strings of numbers and letters) by manipulating the clipboard is a common way criminals steal victims’ cryptocurrency. “The Wide World of Web3 is now at your fingertips,” writes Opera’s Batt in a promise the Crypto Browser Project appears to deliver on. Whether or not that’s a good thing for all the people soon to be diving into web3 and NFTs remains to be seen.